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Lesson Plans for Each Lesson in Each Unit

Unit One | Unit Two | Unit Three | Unit Four | Unit Five

Unit One: Introduction and Overview

Lesson plans for Units 1 and 2 are FREE. Lesson plan "The Minoan Civilization" of Unit 3 is FREE. All other lesson plans in Units 3-5 must be purchased as part of access to the site.

Lessons in Order Approximate Length Description
Ceramics: Terms and Processes 1 1/2 hours

In this lesson, students become familiar with the vocabulary and processes of ceramics. This is a good first step for introducing students to what is possible in the creation of ceramic pieces.

 A New Technology: An Early History of Pottery 3 hours

Students view a presentation on the ancient history of ceramics. Combining lecture/ presentation with group discussion, individual writing/ reflection and lots of pictures, students gain some insight into the early days of pottery making. Students also reflect on how new technologies change the world. More advanced students search the Internet for artists whose work is inspired by the work of ancient ceramicists.

My Amulet Necklace 6 Hours

Neither ancient man nor modern man made ceramic items only for practical purposes. In fact, it appears that some of the earliest uses for clay were aesthetic/spiritual/magical/mystical. By means of a little guidance through images of artifacts from different cultures, a little brainstorming, and some relevant questioning, students will create their own personalized fetish/amulet necklaces.

Unit One | Unit Two | Unit Three | Unit Four | Unit Five

Unit Two: Pinch Pot Construction

Lessons in Order Approximate Length Description
Pinch Pot Vases 4 1/2 Hours Pinch pot vases are reasonably simple to make and so, are a great first project. These vases incorporate the construction method of joining pinch pots by scoring and slipping and using additive coils. Students learn the parts of a vase, then devise several types of their own creation, drawing them as thumbnail sketches, and produce at least three. Designs are impressed, or stamped into the clay in a pattern on the sides of each vase. The principle of art, rhythm, is stressed. Finally, students test different glazes on the vases.
Pinch Constructed Whistles 3 - 4 Hours

These are fun for students to create, but are best done in small groups as making the whistles "work" is tricky. Be sure to create one yourself before trying it with the group.

Unit One | Unit Two | Unit Three | Unit Four | Unit Five

Unit Three: Coil Pot Construction
Lesson plan "The Minoan Civilization" is FREE. All other lesson plans in Units 3-5 must be purchased as part of access to the site.

Lessons in Order Approximate Length Description
Ancient North American Civilizations 4 - 20 Hours

(abbreviated and extended lessons)

In this Web Quest students discover lost North American civilizations through Internet Scavenger Hunts, brainstorming, discussion, observation of artifacts and creative speculation. In the extended lesson, student create pottery, plan and participate in other activities.

Mimbres-Inspired Coil Bowls


3 - 5 Hours

The bowls that students create in this project are inspired by the North American Civilizations web quest. Stylized animals decorate the inside of these beautiful ceramic coil bowls.

Mississippian Inspired Coil Pots 4 - 6 Hours

The coils on these pots become their decoration. They are inspired by ancient pots created by the Mississippians, Native Americans who lived along the Mississippi River a thousand years ago.

The Minoan Civilization 2 - 10 hours

(abbreviated and extended lessons)

Students explore and gather relevant facts from a website about Minoan pottery, then divide into groups and complete worksheets on different sections of the site. Students then present their information to the rest of the group in different ways: PowerPoint, handouts, timeline.

Slip Decorated Elegant Pots 4 - 6 Hours

Students create the desired shape of the coil pot using a template. Pots are decorated with slips before firing and glazed afterwards. This pot requires a little more advanced skills that the others.

Unit One | Unit Two | Unit Three | Unit Four | Unit Five

Unit Four: Slab Construction

Lessons in Order Approximate Length Description
Slab Box Decorated with Sprigs 7 - 9 Hours


Students get a lot of bang for the buck from this lesson. The boxes are decorated with sprigs made with clay and cookie cutters. Underglazes give the pots bright colors. The boxes are fun to make and always turn out well. The lesson is fairly simple. For more advanced students, plaster molds can be carved or made for creating sprigs for the boxes.

Industrial Revolution and The Arts and Crafts Movement 1-4 Hours

This short web adventure helps to explain what led up to the start of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Students are encouraged to speculate on what they might have done during this time period. The lesson can be extended with the optional research projects suggested.

Carved Slab Boxes 4-6 Hours

Students enjoy carving when they understand the principles involved. These boxes are inspired by nature like the art of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Unit One | Unit Two | Unit Three | Unit Four | Unit Five

Unit Five: Constructing Using Molds

Lessons in Order Approximate Length Description
Press-Molded Cups 3-5 Hours

Students learn a way of creating more uniform ceramic items by using common plastic or glass bowls. Saucers can even be made using drape-molding. Depending on the skill level of the student, handles can be made from coils, a slab or pulled.

Making Lidded Bowls 3-5 Hours

How about a sugar bowl to go with the cups? Simple press-molded bowl with a lid is a nice addition to the cup and saucer.

Press-Molded Pitcher 2-4 Hours

If you've got time to keep this project going, have your students create a cream pitcher to go with the cups and sugar bowl. The handle can be tricky and should probably be pulled. The lip and spout of the pitcher takes a bit of practice for beginning students, but can be done.

Unit One | Unit Two | Unit Three | Unit Four | Unit Five

Coming Soon as a New Website for Advanced Students: Putting It All Together

Lessons in Order Approximate Length Description
History of the Teapot  

Unavailable at this time, this new website will be a semester or year-long class in itself. So much can be created by handbuilding in class that it is impossible for one person to come up with all of the ideas available. The purpose will be to give the student a little boost by providing the basics of ceramics and get the student using his or her creative imagination.

Contemporary Teapots
The Teapot as Sculpure  
Non-objective Ceramic Sculpture  
Ceramics as Crafts  

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Page last modified: 03 February, 2013